|Do you know where your variables are?|
Interesting that you drew upon a music analogy -- I too have a story in that area to tell.
After singing with a wonderful bunch of guys in a chorus who couldn't sing a tuned chord more than once a week, back in 1998 I decided to audition for a place in the Northern Lights, a new chorus that was starting up. They were sounding very hot.
With Grade 7 in Piano, Grade 2 in Music Theory and my experience with the previous chorus (section leader), I worked hard and went in for the audition. It was a tough audition and I was plenty nervous. After the audition I stood around waiting for someone to congratulate me.
The Assistant Director came over and said that I'd done well, but I wasn't up to their standards. I was welcome to continue to come out and sing with the chorus and improve, and I could have one more shot at an audition to the group.
To say that the audition failure affected me would be to understate the point. I was miserable, then made that realization that this was a challenge. If I worked hard before the first audition, I redoubled my efforts afterwards. After the second audition, the Director of the group came over to tell me that although I'd improved, I still wasn't up to the standards of the group.
But admission to the group is also granted to those who show some definite signs of promise, and he admitted me on those grounds.
I worked even harder for him after that, and I still do.
The lesson to be learned? When corrected by a wiser person (or a reasonable facsimile), do not take this personally, for if you are committed to your art, you will not take it personally, but rather study harder -- or realize that you are labouring in the wrong field. When the conductor of the SF Symphony told the woman to sit down, he was doing her a favour, most likely saving her and her instructors a great deal of time -- she must have had to re-evaluate her decision to take part in that field. That's very valuable feedback, the same feedback that is given freely here.
"Nyahhh (munch, munch) What's up, Doc?" --Bugs Bunny